Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting Open Thread

I get the impression Cruz is excellent at the sort of word-tourneys that won him “debate king” status in college, but that’s not the same as being good at non-regulated actual political stage contests. Assuming he doesn’t find an excuse to drop out sooner, I’m expecting him to get his inflated sense of self-worth handed to him at the first RNC debate.

At least Cruz didn’t try to blame the Charleston terrorist on Caitlyn Jenner, like Erick “Goat-fcking Child Molestor” Erickson did on Fox News…

278 replies
  1. 1
    Howard Beale IV says:

    When Mitt Romney is the voice of reason, the GOP is in deep shit.

    https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/612433183297142784

  2. 2
    redshirt says:

    Will anything change this time?

  3. 3
    Tommy says:

    @Howard Beale IV: How about it. If somebody in my family saw me sporting the Confederate flag, like my father who has a PhD in Civil War military history, he’d slap me up slide the head and tear it down. Wait he would do that even if he didn’t have his PhD.

  4. 4
    Howard Beale IV says:

    There’s going to be a Burning of The Confederate Flag taking place nationwide on July 4th. Everyone is free to participate.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    “Alright”

    Damn you, Bernie Taupin.

  6. 6
    Kropadope says:

    Ted Cruz: Democrats using Charleston as ‘excuse’ to take away gun rights

    If not now, when? There are shootings every day. Is it always too soon?

    ETA:

    “It’s sad to see the Democrats take a horrific crime and try to use it as an excuse not to go after people with serious mental illness or people who are repeat felons or criminals but rather try to use it as an excuse to take away the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens,” Cruz told reporters after a town hall event here.

    If we were even able to have a rational discussion about doing even that little, that would be (a) a vast improvement and (b) still way beyond what Ted Cruz is likely willing to consider as far as gun control.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    @Howard Beale IV

    Repelled by flag burnings just as much as repulsed book burnings.

  8. 8
    Ejoiner says:

    Just got back from the Take Down the Flag rally at the Columbia, SC statehouse and it was a really good turn out. Lots of people (2,000 or so) on short notice in temps over 100. I’d post a couple of pictures from the event for you guys to see but I don’t know how on here. Any tech advice?

  9. 9
    Tommy says:

    @redshirt: Nope because all we would have needed to stop it was open carry within the church. My father went to military high school, ROTC in college, worked 30+ years for the military, and owns lots of guns. Oh and he is a Republican.

    Even he thinks people are shit all stupid when they think Joe/Jane Smith with a gun are going to stop things like this. He believes like most of us believe that they will start shooting when there is no threat and if there is a threat they’ll end up wounding or killing innocent people and not the shooter.

  10. 10
    redshirt says:

    We’re in a war, but one side doesn’t know it/want to accept it.

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    @Howard Beale IV: I am pretty sure I’d have to drive south a fair distance or order one online if I wanted to burn one. Even at the military surplus store here I get some MRIs and camping gear, and I can ASSURE you the people that work there are far, far right, I’ve never seen a Confederate flag. There maybe one in the back office or their houses, but nothing close to public display!

  12. 12
    Kropadope says:

    @NotMax: I think flag burning is pretty foul, but not on the same scale as book burning. Book burning is designed to destroy actual access to information, censorship. Flag burning will piss people off, but society isn’t materially harmed by simply burning a flag.

  13. 13
    Kropadope says:

    @Tommy: They’re out there. I see people flying them up here in MA. They must be available somewhere. If you can’t find one at a store, doesn’t Amazon have everything?

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    @Ejoiner

    Can’t put pix directly into a comment here unless you’re a front pager.

    Put them up online and provide a link in a comment.

    When I have occasion to do so, favor the free service Thumbsnap for doing just that.

  15. 15
    redshirt says:

    @Kropadope: Book burning is 1000 million times worse than flag burning. People burning is 1000 million times worse than that.

  16. 16
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ejoiner: Send me .jpgs (click on my name in the right-hand column under “Contact/Select an author”, or use annelaurie at verizon dot net), and I’ll post them on the front page tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning.

  17. 17
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Ejoiner:

    You can’t post pictures. E-mail them to Anne Laurie (address at or near upper left of page).

  18. 18
    Tommy says:

    @Kropadope: I am sure I could find one online in like 5 seconds but I think burning a flag is a little childish and frankly a waste of money I could give to a local food pantry or other charity.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @Kropadope:

    Yeah, this.

    I’ll burn a Confederate flag any day.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @Kropeadope

    Which is why took the eefort to make the distinction of repelled versus repulsed.

    How do you stand on burning in effigy? Society isn’t materially harmed, after all.

  21. 21
    Kropadope says:

    @Tommy: Hey, I was just trying to help you find one, I don’t care what you do with it. Like I said, I’m not on board with the whole flag burning thing.

  22. 22
    Kropadope says:

    @NotMax: Again, not my cup of tea, but I’m not trying to stop anyone else doing it.

  23. 23
    KG says:

    someone should remind Ted that as a Cuban American, the treasonous bastards of the CSA would have likely considered him non-white and probably did through the Jim Crow era.

  24. 24
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Tommy: And are you ready for the ultimate insult?

    The so-called ‘Confederate flag’ isn’t the Confederate flag! It’s actually The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia – which is square.

    Regardless-any CSA flag is treasonous and is to be desecrated and destroyed by any and all means necessary. You don’t see German provinces allowing the swastika to be flown now, do you? Do you see the old apartheid flag being flown in South Africa?

    Enough.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Tommy: I’ll print one on my color laser printer.

  27. 27
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: If Newtown can’t make anything happen, I now doubt anything can.

    Except maybe the mass murder of Republicans themselves. Which of course I am not advocating, just speaking conjecture.

  28. 28
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @NotMax: So I take it you accept cross-burings then?

  29. 29
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Kropadope:

    I see people flying them up here in MA. They must be available somewhere. If you can’t find one at a store, doesn’t Amazon have everything?

    My opinion is that if you have to send away for your offensive-symbol-to-burn, it’s not risky enough to be worth the effort. Either find a symbol that does risk local opprobrium, or donate the money/your time to people who are on the front lines. Otherwise, it’s just ME TOO LOOKIT ME — performance art at its lowest.

  30. 30
    Kropadope says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    So I take it you accept cross-burings then?

    They’re just trying to destroy Jesus’s constraints.

  31. 31
    Tommy says:

    @Kropadope: No I get that. Didn’t mean my comment remotely as a dig against you.

  32. 32
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @redshirt: So burning Ann Coulter’s books is 1000x worse than burning the stars and bars?

  33. 33
    Kropadope says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    My opinion is that if you have to send away for your offensive-symbol-to-burn, it’s not risky enough to be worth the effort. Either find a symbol that does risk local opprobrium

    There’s risk, these people will definitely find themselves on the wrong side of the fire codes.

  34. 34
    satby says:

    Ehh, some days I’m just done with people. My buddy the radio news guy posted an article about the flag of treason not being lowered to half staff in South Carolina, and some dofus is on the thread made the statement that it “symbolizes a people whose culture was wiped out by greed”.
    WTF pretzel twist kind of logic allows someone to say something as stupid as that?

  35. 35
    redshirt says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Yes. Sadly enough. Any book is a treasure compared to the stupidity that is a flag.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    Theoretically, I should be feeling better because I was wrong and this is not being as tidily dropped by some of the papers as it seemed to me yesterday. But damned if there aren’t a lot of morally ugly bipeds that aren’t even bothering with rocks anymore in this benighted nation.

  37. 37
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @redshirt: Problem is that Coulter is 100% in lockstep with that that flag represents.

  38. 38
    Kropadope says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    So burning Ann Coulter’s books is 1000x worse than burning the stars and bars?

    Paying for the copies to burn is, by itself, 1000 times worse. Ann Coulter is also under no serious threat of censorship. Even still, it’s a bad thing to do. It’s bad burning the stars and bars too, but is there any real harm?

  39. 39
    Kropadope says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Problem is that Coulter is 100% in lockstep with that that flag represents.

    Allow me to disagree with you vehemently on this.

  40. 40
    redshirt says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Any book trumps a dumb ass flag – and I don’t care what flag it is really – by an infinite number. Books – all books – are important. Flags are literal propaganda devices.

  41. 41
    Tommy says:

    I am just started to watch the first show of Alone on History Channel 2. As a huge hiker/camper I have to admit I totally geek out on these shows where they drop people in the middle of nowhere and say “see if you can live.” The only thing I fear is as they get more and more extreme as they “outdo” other shows somebody is going to die.

  42. 42
    scav says:

    @satby: Their culture was wiped out because their greed about owning other people as property, greed about not wanting to pay human being for their labor, caused them to rebel against their country.

  43. 43
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Kropadope: Disagree with me as vehemently as you want-it does not change reality.

  44. 44
    Kropadope says:

    @Howard Beale IV: You gonna let Republicans define for you and everyone else what the flag means? What about words like liberal, conservative, and progressive? Words like interrogate and render? What Christianity is? Who is a real American?

    I won’t; because in all these cases their “definitions” are just propagandistic lies.

  45. 45
    MattF says:

    Nowadays, Ted Cruz rides shotgun on the Klown Kar– there was a time in the past when he had a great future, but that was then. I don’t think he’s adjusted to the shift in his expectations.

  46. 46
    JGabriel says:

    Bob Schooley:

    Ted goes for the least artful weasel dodge ever …

    Hmm. That would actually make a pretty good nickname for our Ted: The Artless Dodger.

    I like the way it also sounds like Heartless Dodger if you pretend it’s spoken with a cockney accent, “Hey, lookee here, it’s Ted, the ‘Eartless Dodger!”

  47. 47
    NotMax says:

    @Howard Beale IV

    How did you possibly pole vault to that conclusion?

    I reject, abhor and detest all burnings, of whatever political ilk or degree.

    @efgoldman

    On this, as regards moi, you could not be more mistaken.

  48. 48
    satby says:

    @scav: yeah, that’s not the implication I got from his comment. More of a “War of Northern Aggression” vibe.

    So my response was that “their culture was built on chattel slavery and their heritage was as traitors that took up arms against their nation, so boo-fucking-hoo for their loss”.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Leaving the flag of treason aside: the shooter’s manifesto said he became “awakened” to black on white crime after the Trayvon Martin case.

    And I am thinking how damning that is to rightwing media, and prob Fox News, for pushing the Trayvon as attacker with a sidewalk meme.

    And how absolutely awful for the Martin family to realize that misreporting and outright lying about the facts surrounding their son’s death led to inciting this ridiculous kid to take nine more lives.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I am okay with flag burnings. It sends a message. So do book burnings, but that message is anti-intellectual and fucked up.

  51. 51
    LWA (Liberal With Attitude) says:

    I just read Roof’s manifesto over at Gawker.

    I swear I have read most of that already on RedState, Powerline, Weasel Zippers or half a dozen other “respectable” rightwing sites.

    We need to emphasize this- he wasn’t an outlier, a one-off nutjob; he was just taking the actual every day rabid comments from the right wing, and actually putting them into practice.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: I think it is important to remember that in addition to being a stone cold racist, that guy is also “shit all stupid.”

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    @satby

    The doofus is certainly that (and more), but had your buddy done more than two seconds research he would have learned that that particular flag* cannot physically be lowered to half-staff, quarter-staff or any other position as it is permanently attached and not on a halyard.

    *Just to be clear, the presence of which on the capitol grounds is both indecent and offensive..

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @satby: It’s not as though logic or coherency is a part of their intellectual tool kit and cherished culture so he probably did fail to detect the obvious.

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    My opinion is that if you have to send away for your offensive-symbol-to-burn, it’s not risky enough to be worth the effort.

    This. I think there would be real significance in burning the Confederate flag flying outside the South Carolina capitol, or in taking one from an idiot waving it around and burning it, but not in buying one just to burn it. That’s just empty symbolism.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think it is important to remember that in addition to being a stone cold racist, that guy is also “shit all stupid.”

    He’s clearly touched in the head, but he did pretty much describe some aspect of why suburbia exists. There’s no doubt that white flight and self-selecting segregation is an actual thing and has been for some time.
    Not sure why the existence of suburbs angers him so much though. Would think it should make a natural kind of sense to his addled world view.

  57. 57
    redshirt says:

    Wasn’t there another Dittohead who shot up a Unitarian church like 5 years ago or so?

  58. 58
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @NotMax: It doesn’t take much, given the environment Mr. Roof was exposed to. It’s only because of pervasive surveillance recording technology that bypasses the normal gatekeepers that such exceptional events get surfaced and reported outside of the normal channels.

  59. 59
    mclaren says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand it’s the old Obama trick — fake left, move right:

    “While Hillary Clinton continues to hedge her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the related issue of trade promotion authority, her campaign is partnering with a pro-TPP/TPA law and lobby firm to raise cash.”

    Quelle surprise!
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/18/congress-scrambles-reschedule-trade-promotion-vote-clintons-campaign-hosts-fundraiser-tpp-lobbying-firm/

    “Thomas Hayes, a former trader on trial over charges he manipulated benchmark rates, told prosecutors in 2013 that UBS Group AG distributed `an instruction manual on fixing Libor’ to suit their trading positions.”

    The corruption is not only institutionalized, they’ve even authored a how-to manual for their employees showing how to do it.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....hayes-said

    Sooooooooooooooooooooooo…how much ya wanna bet there’s a manual like this for every market? Bonds? Stocks? Subprime mortgages? College loans?

    “Restaurant sees profits triple after paying a decent wage and abolishing tipping.” Who could possibly have imagined that if you pay employees decent money, they’ll be able to buy enough stuff to boost the economy?
    https://www.yahoo.com/food/restaurant-sees-profits-triple-after-it-ditches-121108634284.tuml

  60. 60
    LauraPDX says:

    OT, but I received the latest Penzey’s spice catalog today and outside of the spices for sale the entire catalog is dedicated to the people in Milwaukie who ride the bus, and by connection who are affected by, or working to eliminate, voting restrictions in the state of Wisconsin, where Penzey’s is headquartered. The owner of Penzey’s wrote a short editorial about bus riders and how voting restrictions intentionally suppress minority voters.

    The last paragraph of the editorial: Right now among so many there seems to be a notion that it is somehow noble to make the lives of those on the downside of the divisions in this country even harder. We are better than that notion. We really are.

    I’ve just never seen anything like it from a national business and am impressed beyond measure. I buy from Penzey’s because of their outstanding product; now you’ll never get me to buy spices anywhere else again. Unfortunately the stories and the editorial are not yet online – you’ll have to go to one of their stores to pick up a catalog or order the catalog online.

  61. 61
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Roger Moore: A modified paintball gun to shoot a flammable substance on the flag and then another one to shoot a thermite load should work.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LauraPDX: Thanks for letting us know. As a Wisconsin boy, this is very useful to know.

  63. 63
    MattF says:

    Charles Johnson at LGF notes that the content of many of the white supremacist websites has vanished. Seems they’ve discovered the dangers of civil liability.

  64. 64
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @LauraPDX: Thank you for sharing this.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s just empty symbolism.

    Try it in the town square in, say, Birmingham, Alabama or Philadelphia, Mississippi and you may find out otherwise.

    Plus, isn’t “empty symbolism” an oxymoron of sorts?

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @Howard Beale IV

    Believe I read someplace that it is documented that he burned a U.S. flag.

    Fail to see how mimicking his actions, if not his kindling, is helpful.

  67. 67
    MattF says:

    @efgoldman: It’s trolling the wingers. Why bother? They self-troll so well.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: It is symbolic speech. It is expressing disapproval of the ideas represented by the flag. I don’t understand why anyone has an issue with it.*

    *Not arguing with you. Following up on what you said.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @LauraPDX:

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  70. 70
    redshirt says:

    No joke, I’d love to see a Rebel flag burning get some national TV exposure. I bet Fox wouldn’t cover/show it.

  71. 71
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am okay with flag burnings. It sends a message.

    I agree.

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s not addition; it’s repetition.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @Howard Beale IV:
    Others have suggested a drone carrying a torch or flaming arrows. The most straightforward approach would be to shimmy up the pole with a lighter.

  73. 73
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @MattF: Oh my.

    That’s very interesting.

    Of course the puppet masters are scared shitless. The punk ass kid was supposed to kill himself after the murders was done.

    Y’know, I wonder what else is waiting to be found in Mr. Roof’s PC….?

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    Orphan Black-did not see that coming

  75. 75
    Cervantes says:

    @redshirt:

    Any book trumps a dumb ass flag – and I don’t care what flag it is really – by an infinite number.

    I can agree with that.

    Books – all books – are important. Flags are literal propaganda devices.

    But some books are “literal propaganda devices,” too.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes:

    That’s not addition; it’s repetition.

    I’ll admit it; I laughed.

  77. 77
    satby says:

    @NotMax: My friend didn’t actually suggest it should have been, he was “reporting on the controversy”. He likes to stir shit up.

  78. 78
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @NotMax: Would you expect any less of a person who was against the ‘Northern Aggressors’ and proudly flew the Stars and Bars?

    Christ on a pony…..

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: On things like this, law school can give one phrases on which to rely.

  80. 80
    redshirt says:

    @Cervantes: Books may be tools of propaganda, but they are still books that can be understood in a myriad of ways. For example I can read Mein Kampf and not become a NAZI or espouse any kind of Germanic supremacy. I can read it as an example of an ideology that swept up a time and caused mass death and suffering.

    Whereas a flag has no other purpose than to convey a propaganda perspective.

  81. 81
    satby says:

    @scav: thing is, the asshole is a transplanted Northerner, he’s defending a “heritage” he doesn’t have. Though I bet it’s safe to say there’s common ground between him and the folks who fly the flag of treason.

  82. 82
    Cervantes says:

    @NotMax:

    Believe I read someplace that it is documented that he burned a U.S. flag.

    True. He had photographs stored on his web-site. In one shot he is seen holding up a burning flag. In another he (or someone) is seen squatting on a flag.

    By the way, as far as I can tell, no one has said in public who took those photographs of him.

  83. 83
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Roger Moore: There’s been documented evidence of using drones to deface ads in NYC, so this method does have some potential.

  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Suppose I should chime in that I do fully support upholding that expression of free speech and would never call for it to be outlawed but still deride the action.

    Much as I supported the ACLU in their defense of the neo-Nazi’s right to march in Skokie. So doing does not in any way confirm an acceptance of fascism.

    (Thought we’d get through a whole thread without a mention of Nazis, didn’t ya? :) )

  85. 85
    Librarian says:

    For the hundredth time, the stars and bars and the Confederate battle flag are two different flags,

  86. 86
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman:

    As to whoever, upthread, compared it with cross burning: The former is condemnation of the worst in human and political action. Cross burning is a perversion of a symbol which, while I don’t believe in it, stands for millions for peace and charity.

    Again, racism trumps religion, and that sorta amazes me. And saddens me. And makes me angry. So many feelings.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    mdblanche says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Perfect date.

    @MattF: Have they discovered Google Cache or The Wayback Machine?

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: No need to chime in with that. Disapproval should not be construed as a call for banning. I am okay with flag burning but disapprove of book burning. I think both are perfectly legal.

    ETA: Thanks, Cervantes.

  90. 90
    Tommy says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you very much for NO spoilers! I get it on Google Play on my Roko and going to watch the last two shows when tonights comes up early in the AM tomorrow. I figure that will be better watching than Meet the Press or Face the Nation :).

  91. 91
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am okay with flag burning but disapprove of book burning. I think both are perfectly legal.

    The AQMD might have something to say about either of them.

  92. 92
    satby says:

    @Librarian: And Kleenex is not a generic term for tissue. Oh, wait.

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “Not.” (You missed one, I mean.)

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ll admit it; I laughed.

    Grim subject and all, but on that note I wish you a good evening.

  94. 94
    redshirt says:

    Museum and Library burning is even worse than book burning.

    The loss of the Library of Alexandria is the greatest single disaster in human history.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Fixed. Thank you.

    @efgoldman: I get all William O. Douglas on First Amendment things.

  96. 96
    Steeplejack says:

    @rikyrah:

    Thanks for no spoiler.

  97. 97
    Cervantes says:

    @redshirt:

    The loss of the Library of Alexandria is the greatest single disaster in human history.

    A visit to Auschwitz, say, or to the Vietnam Memorial, might cause you to re-calibrate your instruments.

    (Those are simply two examples, not a superlative or exhaustive list.)

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @redshirt:

    The loss of the Library of Alexandria is the greatest single disaster in human history.

    Where does the advent of reality TV fit in on that scale?

  99. 99
    redshirt says:

    @Cervantes: People die all the time. That’s what we do. Books and ideas and knowledge is more important.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @Omes Omnibus

    Aha. Better.

    I wuz confoozalated by the original.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Reality TV gave us ” The Great British Baking Show.”

  102. 102
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: We lost innumerable only editions of the works of the greatest minds of ancient times. What we have now is just a sliver of what resided in that library.

    The loss of no other city, no other kingdom or castle or country can compare.

  103. 103
    scav says:

    @satby: Converts to causes can be more hard-line than those raised in them. It’s not like the north is populated uniquely by thoughtful intelligent people (I’m really having a hard time with bipeds). He’s chosen his band of brothers, and likely chosen them well for what he sees in the mirror of his soul, let him sink with the lost cause of personally owning people and taking pride in it.

  104. 104
    Cervantes says:

    @redshirt:

    People die all the time. That’s what we do. Books and ideas and knowledge is more important.

    The Nazis had plenty of “books and ideas and knowledge” and yet I would argue that “people die all the time” understates the Holocaust somewhat.

    I may be wrong, of course, but just think about it.

    Have a good night.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: I get what you are saying, but genocide can’t be waved off. The balance should be addressed.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Reverse side on that coin would be “The Joe Schmo Show.”

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: No idea of what that is. No interest in investigating.

  108. 108
    NotMax says:

    Haven’t yet seen any mention yet of Roof having digested “The Turner Diaries” – but wouldn’t be at all surprised.

  109. 109
    scav says:

    @redshirt: What about losing the House of Wisdom in Bagdad where the river supposedly ran black with ink? Granted, later, so maybe less of a bottleneck of loss, but still a bad loss.

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Linky.

    For later.

    A veritable festival of televised bad taste.

  111. 111
    Kropadope says:

    @efgoldman:

    Why, exactly?
    It represents treason and slavery. What should we do, write pants wetting blog posts about it?

    It’s destruction that accomplishes nothing beyond making idiots who love that flag angry. Destruction and incitement aren’t worthwhile goals to me. Why not rip it up beyond recognition and make underwear for the homeless. Then not only have you repurposed the material, you have given the poor an opportunity to leave tire tracks on the Confederate flag.

  112. 112
    Tommy says:

    @redshirt: The destruction of the Library at Alexandria has to rank up there with the lost of info to humankind.

    But then I think of the Holocaust and the Jewish people that did made it out and to the US, well they kind of contributed a little knowledge. In the millions killed you have to think were maybe another Bach, Einstein, Shakespeare, gosh knows what. The lose of the sheer human potential is staggering.

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Oh dear sweet Jesus in heels and a push-up bra.

  114. 114
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @efgoldman: I guess it shows how efficient the Nazis were, huh? Those motherfucking sociopaths burned books and people.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kropadope: Obviously, the concept of symbolic speech doesn’t connect with you at all. It does for others.

  116. 116
    redshirt says:

    @Cervantes: If our standard is greatest historical disaster, I’m sticking with the loss of the Library of Alexandria to fire. The loss of knowledge is a greater loss than life – unless we’re talking about extinction level loss, and that’s a different story.

  117. 117
    mdblanche says:

    I like to watch SFDebris‘ weekly Star Trek episode review on Saturday nights. The episodes are scheduled a month or two in advance and this week’s turns out to be “Far Beyond the Stars.” The problem with DS9 isn’t that it no longer holds up, the problem is that it holds up too well.

  118. 118
    Kropadope says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Obviously, the concept of symbolic speech doesn’t connect with you at all. It does for others.

    Not quite right, lame symbolic speech doesn’t connect with me.

  119. 119
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman:

    Damn, that’s cold.
    Objectively true, but the manner and means have a lot to do with it.

    Yes. But life is cold, eventually. Might as well face truth and deal with it as it is.

    Life is cheap, and always has been. Think of the millions upon millions of minions who’ve perished at the whims of their respective Masters. So sad, but ultimately nothing but dandelions mowed in a Summer field.

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kropadope: Like I said, that particular form of speech doesn’t connect for you. It doesn’t meant that it doesn’t connect with others.

    Why do you think flag burning attracts lawsuits? Because it affects people emotionally. It is effective.

  121. 121
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: No. Sorry. There’s plenty of people to go on, maybe not of you and yours, but others.

    Real extinction is of course global and immanent.

  122. 122
    NotMax says:

    @mdblanche

    The problem with DS9 was that everyone else was discouraged from being more animated than Sisko, he who made watching paint dry seem antic and dramatic in comparison.

    IMHO. YMMV.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Again, I get your point, but you may want to not be an asshole about your way of expressing it. Just saying. I mean calling the Holocaust no big fucking thing in the real long term may be accurate, but it is an asshole-ish thing to say to real people.

    ETA: I know and care about people who lost family during it. And so do a shitload of other people here.

  124. 124
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I didn’t call it a not big fucking thing.

    It obviously is – for the scientific cruelty of it. The modernism of it. It’s a warning and a tragedy and I fear we’re about to repeat it with genetic engineering.

    People have been slaughtering people since time immemorial.

    It was only the Holocaust that had IBM involved and thus…

    But still. Library of Alexandria.

  125. 125
    Kropadope says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Has anyone ever won any of those lawsuits. It sounds flimsy.

  126. 126
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    We (in the royal sense) do not speak of this Enterprise you mention.

    The shark didn’t merely jump, it impaled itself on a swordfish.

  127. 127
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @NotMax: @efgoldman:

    DS9 got good when Sisko got the beard and when it went dark. Probably one of its best episodes was ‘In the Pale Moonlight’.

  128. 128
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman:

    DS9 was OK (and since Avery Brooks was one of our favorite actors, we didn’t mind watching paint dry.)
    But the shark jumped very, very high for Voyager and Enterprise.

    You speak the truth about the Trek.

    It lost its way. Voyager should have been wondrous, but turned bitter.

    Enterprise should have been fantastic and outrageous, but was like poison.

    The TNG movies turned to utter shit.

    All of Star Trek burned up!

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kropadope: No, silly person, they don’t win those law suits. And they shouldn’t.

    @redshirt: If you read what I wrote, you would know what I meant. Politesse is actually okay.

  130. 130
    redshirt says:

    Has everyone seen Guardians of the Galaxy?

    I just finally saw it recently and I love it so much. Like best movie for me in years.

    The music! The Dance off!

  131. 131
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t know what you mean.

  132. 132

    I understand both sides of the debate too.

    On the one hand, there are those who see the Confederate flag as a symbol of treason, treason in defense of slavery as outlined in the documents of secession from the Southern States, racial terrorism of the KKK as outlined by decades of oppression, legal and extra-legal including the routine murder of black men, and antithetical to the United States, union and unity, and racial healing.

    And on the other hand, you have racist assholes who like to wave it and scream “DON”T TREAD ON ME, BRO!” and worry about Those people voting and taking over the government and oppressing white people.

    I just don’t choose to pretend that both sides of the debate are morally, historically, and ethically equivalent.

  133. 133
    NotMax says:

    @Howard Beale IV

    Realizing it was primarily due to budget constraints (see: Manimal for a precursor), still Odo displayed all the imagination of an extremely backward dodo when it came to shapeshifting.

  134. 134
    Kropadope says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: People are suing people over bits of cloth, you use this as a basis to support an argument, I point out that it’s a flimsy reason for a lawsuit, and now I’m the one who’s silly?!?!?

    OoooooooohhhhhhhhKaaaaaaayyy.

  135. 135
    MBunge says:

    When DS9 was good it was very good. The problem was that when it was bad, it was really bad and bad in a particularly fanboyish way. Voyager, on the other hand, was never really good but rarely was all that terrible. Enterprise was so poorly conceived that it’s hard to judge.

    Mike

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: You basically told a bunch of people whose families were wiped out by the Holocaust – “Fuck it, worse things have happened,.” I don’t think that was your intention, but there are people here (not me, directly) for whom that particular event was devastating.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kropadope: Christ on a cracker, you are basically saying that the concept of symbolic speech is foreign to you. Got it.

  138. 138
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I did not. I am talking about historical impact, not tragedy or loss of life. I am simply having a “what if” conversation if you could rank the actual worst event in human history. The one thing or war or pogrom or genocide that ultimately affected us all today, here, in the awesome NOW.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Your view. Others may have, and did, read it differently. I am just pointing out why you had push back.

  140. 140
    El Caganer says:

    @redshirt: Why?

  141. 141
    mdblanche says:

    @NotMax: That sure as hell doesn’t apply to his acting in “Far Beyond the Stars”! I was thinking it held up more in terms of its overall theme: what happens when a utopia is faced with an existential threat? You’ve got episodes that you’d swear were allegories for the War on Terror if it weren’t for the copyright dates, you’ve got a butt-hurt insurgency with secession in mind, a race of hypercapitalists, a race that never got the memo about how we’re all secular now, and when does everything fall apart? That’s right, when the black guy is put in charge. If anything, DS9 was ahead of its time. Compared to this, Voyager never lived up to its potential, and Enterprise never had potential.

  142. 142
    Tommy says:

    @mdblanche: I don’t want to get too deep into this debate because I am sure there are many that know far more about Star Trek than I do here.

    But I started rewatching DS9 on Hulu a few weeks ago. I honestly didn’t dislike it at all when it aired but thought it nothing close to Next Gen. Well the show has held up so darn well that I am sure over the next couple months I’ll watch every episode again.

  143. 143
    Mike J says:

    President Obama ‏@POTUS 3h3 hours ago

    President Obama retweeted Mitt Romney
    Good point, Mitt. https://www.twitter.com/MittRomney/status/612276050182049792

    Mitt Romney @MittRomney
    Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims.

  144. 144
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re the only push back.

  145. 145
    Kropadope says:

    @Tommy: I only really liked the Star Trek movies, not just the new big-budget ones, but even the ones with the original cast. I must be a pacing thing.

  146. 146
  147. 147
    Aleta says:

    @Tommy: The crossfire and the ricocheting among the many eager patriots are never mentioned in the fantasy. (Not talking about Star Wars.)

  148. 148
    gordon schumway says:

    @efgoldman:

    @redshirt:
    People die all the time.

    Damn, that’s cold.
    Objectively true, but the manner and means have a lot to do with it.

    So it goes.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Fine. If you want to insist on avoiding the point I was making, that’s cool.

  150. 150
    mdblanche says:

    @redshirt: One of the books the Nazis burned was “Almansor” by Heinrich Heine. It includes the line “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.””

    @Mike J: Current temperature in Hell, 32 degrees F.

  151. 151
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Your point was be polite? Be respectful?

    Radical, man. I’ll give it some thought.

  152. 152
    El Caganer says:

    @redshirt: Why is the loss of knowledge greater than the loss of life? I guess this one’s either a matter of each individual’s priorities or I’m so far out in space that I’m missing what’s commonly accepted. I don’t think there’s a single book ever written that’s worth a human life. Knowledge lasts and life is ephemeral? Sure – but lost knowledge can be rediscovered, unlike lives, which are one and done (unless you’re into reincarnation, I suppose).

    I’ve heard of the Library of Alexandria, but for all I know it could have contained a million tablets of sudoku. So the preceding is my own uninformed opinion.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Read what some of the other people are posting. Or be a douche-canoe. It is really your choice. I have lost interest in the conversation.

    ETA: I am actually looking forward to little boots.

  154. 154
    Southern Goth says:

    @redshirt:

    It was probably all p0rn anyway.

    The internet more than makes up for it.

  155. 155
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: lol

    I can’t refute any longer!

  156. 156
    seaboogie says:

    @Elizabelle: I read a fair portion of the manifesto before I just gave up. The Dude put a lot of energy and “thought” into putting his reasoning out there.

    My initial takeaway to his reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing is that this was a lost kid (left HS early after failing) with a lot of time on his hands, and looking for someone to blame for his failure – anyone or anything other than himself.

    I did my last year of HS in a tiny town, and in my whoppingly huge graduating class of about 30 students, 2 of the boys had turned to religious fundamentalism (Pentecostal). One did it to cope with recovering from drug addiction, the other because he was failing most of his courses and dating the Pentecostal preacher’s daughter.

    The former druggie would be quoting scripture in all manner of classes, including math. The other one wrote on his final exams “If you believe in God, you will give me a passing grade”.

    So I guess what I am saying is that I find some very lost young men who are scared, without skills and don’t have a lot of mental resources reaching out to something that provides an absolute answer, and makes them feel better when they are unmoored.

    From what I’ve read about Dylann Roof so far, he was one of those lost young men who glommed on to white supremacy to find support and make himself feel stronger when he was so lost. He didn’t get those racist values from his upbringing or his family, who is avoiding him at best, offering to fry him at worst. As misguided as his assumptions were, he threw himself into them wholeheartedly and while the logic is unsound, he put a lot of thought into it and articulated his position well, borrowing from the racist tropes at hand to him. Of course being in SC, there was a whole history and culture of race issues to support that.

    It feels to me like this is a different iteration of young people joining ISIS or Al Quada, so I think that there is a bigger issue of where our young people today turn when they feel lost. They have so much passion and energy, and it is so easy for it to be directed in tragic and awful ways. Going from loser to hero can seem be mighty quick with guns, terrorism and all of the internets available to a struggling individual with a lot of time on his hands and a computer, and the ability to warp his mind all by himself.

    This kid isn’t stupid. When he finally quits putting on the whole bravado front, he is going to break his own heart with the act that committed, and the lives that he ended.

  157. 157
  158. 158
    dogwood says:

    I seriously doubt that burning flags In SC or anywhere else will have any positive effect when it comes to changing the law, but if it makes you feel better, burn away. Changing that law will require hard work, not symbolic jestures. With a republican legislator pledging to introduce a law in the next session, I have no idea why liberals would want to inject flag burning into the mix. The onus is on the republicans right now and it should stay there. We should not be muddying the waters here.

  159. 159
    Gian says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    IIRC it was a donkey that he rode on palm sunday.

    But really, burning flags is OK here in the USA, the side that won the civil war says so. that means burning the winning flags, and the losing flags is legal.

    Now would I want to burn the flag that my sister in law got when her son died, and an honor guard folded it perfectly. No,
    The veneration of the confederate flag without coming to terms of what it stood for – to wit killing loyal US soldiers who were fighting against states who claimed a right of owning people – is bullshit. it’s not the flag of running moonshine and starting nascar. It’s the flag of killing loyal American soldiers for the ability to own people like horses.

  160. 160
    rikyrah says:

    @seaboogie:
    I honestly don’t give a shyt.
    Trying to understand why-folks kill me with that bullshyt about trying to find a REASON why an unrepentant racist killed 9 people whose only crime is THAT THEY WERE BORN BLACK.
    They had done nothing to him.
    Their EXISTENCE condemned them to death.
    Y’all make me sick always trying to find an explanation for a WHITE CRIMINAL.

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah:

    Y’all make me sick always trying to find an explanation for a WHITE CRIMINAL.

    Who here has done that?

  162. 162
    seaboogie says:

    @dogwood: Agreed. Persuasive and persistent dialogue is better than venting ire in a way that is certain to invite a knee-jerk, defensive reaction to destruction. That said, I had vivid fantasies last night of paint-balling the official SC confederate flag at the capitol. And I’ve never been paint-balling, but it did involve guns of a sort, and mighty disrespect to that hateful symbol.

  163. 163
    dogwood says:

    Also too, why,when Republican candidates are waffling around about this stuff scrambling for coherent talking points, would we want to give them a perfect out and change the subject from the issue of the flag law to the issue of flag burning? Liberals are so crappy at politics.

  164. 164
    seaboogie says:

    @rikyrah: I do hear you – I really do. This horrible event has kicked my psychic butt so hard this week that I am flat worn out. And that is just me, a middle-aged white woman. One thing that was so difficult to take in was the relatives of the 9 Beautiful People testifying at the hearing of the shooter, and forgiving him – on Juneteenth.

    If I am overwhelmed by sadness this week, and with this accumulation of so much that has happened just this year with black folks being assassinated by cops, I have been wondering how black folks even begin to manage it, and not just riot in the streets this time. Somehow, though, I knew that this time there would not be justified protests and deserved riots. I saw in the photos a tremendous grace in coping with the long history of the persistent degradation of racism, and the sheer weariness of having to deal with it over and over, and in this case in one of the most sacred of spaces with such a particular history.

    I saw the photo of the young woman with a sign that simply asked “WHY?” at the site of the massacre. So simple and eloquent and conveying decades of history and repression and struggle.

    I’ll write more in a minute, but I wanted to post this so you don’t think that I am an asshole, and understand that I am in your corner.

  165. 165
    seaboogie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think that would be me, but I am expanding upon what might easily have been mis-interpreted.

  166. 166
    Aleta says:

    Most people burning the C flag would end up supporting their manufacturer by buying one to burn, wouldn’t they ?

    From wikipedia, a pretty good quote from a patriotic Southerner re: unacceptable use of the C flag

    After the Battle of Okinawa a Confederate flag was raised over Shuri Castle by a Marine from the self-styled “Rebel Company” (Company A of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines). It was visible for miles and was taken down after three days on the orders of General Simon B. Buckner, Jr. (son of Confederate general Simon Buckner, Sr.), who stated that it was inappropriate as “Americans from all over are involved in this battle.”

  167. 167
    Tommy says:

    To continue my TV comments now I am to SyFy’s new show Killjoys. I tell you buying an entire season of shows on Google Play is really pretty amazing and I feel cheap. The entire season cost me under 20 bucks and since it is stored in my Google account I guess I have them as long as Google is in business. No noticeable download times (like a full season in iTunes).

    As a fan of TV that can like to binge watch a show or watch it more then once months or a year later, this is a heck of a deal compared to what I’ve paid for DVDs, which cost more and often come out 7+ months after they first aired. I wait less than a day.

    I know the network(s) are making money (and so is Google) but I almost wonder if the networks have thought this through. I now can watch the shows on my desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet …. all on my TV with Chromecast and no commercials.

  168. 168
    seaboogie says:

    @rikyrah: It’s really late, so I am going to reply more fully in another thread tomorrow if that’s okay.

  169. 169
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: By the way, Gen. Buckner (Army) was killed almost exactly 70 years ago today, on Okinawa before the Japanese had surrendered.

  170. 170
    wasabi gasp says:

    Most people burning the C flag would end up supporting their manufacturer by buying one to burn, wouldn’t they ?

    Righto. This flag burn rally is a ridiculous idea.

    A better alternative would be to burn the people emblazoning the C flag.

    People die everyday.

    ETA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipqqEFoJPL4

  171. 171
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: where’s omnes? I miss omnes.

  172. 172
    Suzanne says:

    @Suzanne: The above is so Omnes doesn’t have to miss Little Boots.

  173. 173
    Suzanne says:

    @rikyrah: Finding an explanation (or explanations) might help avoid future acts by some copycat. An explanation is absolutely not an excuse. No one’ sl ooking for an explanation in order to let the shitweasel Roof off the hook. Fuck that fucking fuck.

  174. 174
    opiejeanne says:

    Anne Laurie, I’m sure you’ve gone to bed by now, but I’ve been trying to send photos of my garden on and off all day, and am getting Daemon messages. I’m not sure what is wrong, but it looks like the first one went through and then nothing else did. I have sent them again, not more than 5 photos in each email because I think that might be the issue.

  175. 175
    sm*t cl*de says:

    If our standard is greatest historical disaster, I’m sticking with the loss of the Library of Alexandria to fire.

    Didn’t happen. My understanding is that there was a final fire, but what was lost was only a tiny remnant of the original Alexandrian library, because it had been preceded by centuries of downsizing and privatisation wholesale pilfering of scrolls. Probably all starting when the authorities defunded it, same as ever.

  176. 176
    Steeplejack says:

    @Aleta:

    Yep, I was going to say 70 years ago this last Thursday.

    I lived on Okinawa in the late ’60s and remember Shuri Castle and Ft. Buckner, which at the time was a major staging base for Vietnam. Buckner was a three-star general and (I think) the highest-ranking American officer to be killed by enemy fire in World War II. Done in by shrapnel from an artillery shell as he was inspecting some forward positions.

  177. 177
  178. 178
    Aleta says:

    @Steeplejack: A lot of Army places and such were named after him. Maybe a ship.

  179. 179
    NotMax says:

    Request via channeling Animal of the Muppets:

               “New thread! New thread!”

  180. 180
  181. 181
    JordanRules says:

    I wonder what some would say if other political symbols that everyone damn well knows stands for the worst of humanity, were resurrected in a public, state-sanctioned place.

    I also wonder what the people that get kinda uncomfortable with this particular flag burning idea might think of it being demonstrated in another country where it meant about the same thing. I don’t know why, but I picture receptions with great praise and proclamations of extreme courage (in the face of those it would agitate even, pearl clutch) as a wonderful 21st century civil disobedience display.

    On that other strand in this thread…Humans make the ideas that are in books. Books aren’t the only way to save and pass on ideas. Putting the preservation of books before humans in terms of which is most important to keep ideas preserved and evolving seems romantic in some sense, but not right in any sense.

    Also, too, fuck that flag.

  182. 182
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @NotMax:

    I’m signing off and going to bed, and that almost always causes a new thread to pop up immediately.

  183. 183
    Anne Laurie says:

    @seaboogie:

    It feels to me like this is a different iteration of young people joining ISIS or Al Quada, so I think that there is a bigger issue of where our young people today turn when they feel lost. They have so much passion and energy, and it is so easy for it to be directed in tragic and awful ways. Going from loser to hero can seem be mighty quick with guns, terrorism and all of the internets available to a struggling individual with a lot of time on his hands and a computer, and the ability to warp his mind all by himself.

    Yup. Don’t know if you’ve read the War Nerd, but he’s mordantly wonderful about the tendency of hormone-laden young nitwits, especially males, to get led astray by frustration & inexperience into volunteering to become… cannon fodder.

    Modern “social media” just makes it easier for the professional psychopaths & would-be warlords to find their marks — the numbnuts don’t even need to leave their pathetic, fetid rooms to get pumped full of bilge about glory and eternal fame.

  184. 184
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opiejeanne: Sent you a message — I got the first two batches safely, at least!

  185. 185
    NotMax says:

    Dracula’s Daughter just beginning on MeTV.

    Prime toothsome shock schlock.

  186. 186
    Anne Laurie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Trying to understand why-folks kill me with that bullshyt about trying to find a REASON why an unrepentant racist killed 9 people whose only crime is THAT THEY WERE BORN BLACK.

    Can’t blame you for feeling that way. But it’s like dealing with the young Muslims or would-be-Muslims who decide they’re gonna join ISIS and blow up Times Square; short of locking up every white male between the ages of 13 and 45 for suspicion of thoughtcrime, we have to figure out how to divert their misguided energies before they turn into mass murderers. Odds are pretty good Dylann Roof is never going to leave the prison system alive, but there’s plenty of other potential mass murderers still stewing in their various dissatisfactions — studying Roof is a tool for avoiding future Roofs.

  187. 187
    Aleta says:

    @Steeplejack: I lived on Kyushu and then more north for some years. Japan’s invasion and treatment of the Okinawans since long before the 1930s was not mentioned much.

  188. 188
    Aleta says:

    More fire.

  189. 189
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta:

    was not mentioned much

    = was one of those pieces of history mostly shielded by an invisibility cloak

  190. 190
    J R in WV says:

    @redshirt: No he isn’t! There are lots of opportunities for worst single event, and the burning of the library of Alexandria might not even be included in the list. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t a single event, but a series of events, like first cutting the maintenance budget, then letting it look like a run-down dump, then letting borrow books for stupid purposes, like firewood, then a fight breaking out and a fire happening, or two, etc.

    I would go with plague, either the Black Death sweeping across Europe and the rest of the world and/or standard diseases of Europe sweeping across the Americas and killing 90-95% of the inhabitants. Others pick the Holocaust, I suspect there might be many examples that were so complete no one survived to pass on the fact of the catastrophe.

    Think of the time humanity appeared to dwindle to a few thousand reproducing members a few hundred thousand years ago. Think of climate change, and now many people and other species will be lost. Many possible answers besides the burning of a series of buildings with books inside.

    You’re just not a sure thing backing that choice.

  191. 191
    magurakurin says:

    @redshirt: Guardians of the Galaxy was really fun. I liked it a lot too. Pretty sure there will be a second one judging by some scenes in the film. I look forward to that, for sure. Little know fact: the original copy of the film was burned in the Library of Alexandria.

    just fuckin’ with ya.

  192. 192
    SFAW says:

    @J R in WV:

    You just don’t appreciate how important the Library was. I, for example, firmly believe that, had it not been for the Burning, Warp Drive would be a reality, a clean/non-polluting inexhaustible energy source would power the entire world, all diseases would have been cured, and mankind would have learned not to be assholes (in extremis) to their fellow Man (of either sex).

    And I would be tall, good-looking, and wicked smaht.

  193. 193
    SFAW says:

    @magurakurin:

    Little know fact: the original copy of the film was burned in the Library of Alexandria.

    Bullshit. It was digital, not film, and the Library had backup.

    Goddamn commie.

  194. 194
    Elizabelle says:

    @seaboogie:

    Great comment, seaboogie. I concur.

  195. 195
    beltane says:

    @sm*t cl*de: I was going to write almost the same exact comment. By the time the Library of Alexandria burned down, it was a mere shadow of its former self, and by no means the repository of knowledge it had been in its heyday.

  196. 196
    Emily68 says:

    @LauraPDX: My family lived in Metairie, LA, from ~1956 to 1960. My parents sometimes bought groceries at Schwegmann Brothers. They had political commentary printed on the grocery bags. My mother found this to be quite amusing. I have no idea now what the commentary said, but judging by the place and time……

  197. 197
    debbie says:

    @seaboogie:

    make himself feel stronger when he was so lost.

    I think this is key, but I can’t figure out why he’d turn to hate. I was just as lost as he was at that age, but putting blame on others was never a consideration.

  198. 198
    SFAW says:

    @debbie:

    I think this is key, but I can’t figure out why he’d turn to hate.

    Especially considering what a splendid job his parents did, according to other relatives.

    I expect that, for some people, it’s significantly easier to blame others (leading to hatred) than it is being introspective, or to even consider that maybe you are (at least in part) to blame for your own inability to relate to the world, or to conduct yourself as a mature adult.

    Blaming “The Other” is always easier, and it appears that it’s the default position for most right-wingers.

  199. 199
    AxelFoley says:

    @NotMax:

    Repelled by flag burnings just as much as repulsed book burnings.

    Man, fuck that noise. The U.S. is the only country to allow the flag of treason to fly within its borders. And black folks are the only ones who are supposed to turn the other cheek for our suppressors. You’d NEVER see Jews allow the Swastika to be flown on statehouses in any state in America, so why should black folks allow it?

  200. 200
    AxelFoley says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    @Tommy: And are you ready for the ultimate insult?

    The so-called ‘Confederate flag’ isn’t the Confederate flag! It’s actually The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia – which is square.

    Regardless-any CSA flag is treasonous and is to be desecrated and destroyed by any and all means necessary. You don’t see German provinces allowing the swastika to be flown now, do you? Do you see the old apartheid flag being flown in South Africa?

    Enough.

    This. All this.

  201. 201
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @efgoldman:
    Thanks for the link to Stone Kettle. I found it very well written and just added it to my list of regular reads!

  202. 202
    AxelFoley says:

    @Kropadope:

    It’s bad burning the stars and bars too.

    White privilege is a sumbitch, I swear.

  203. 203
    AxelFoley says:

    @Librarian:

    For the hundredth time, the stars and bars and the Confederate battle flag are two different flags,

    Semantics. They’re both pieces of shit that should be burned to ashes.

  204. 204
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW:

    You just don’t appreciate how important the Library was. I, for example, firmly believe that, had it not been for the Burning, Warp Drive would be a reality, a clean/non-polluting inexhaustible energy source would power the entire world, all diseases would have been cured, and mankind would have learned not to be assholes (in extremis) to their fellow Man (of either sex).

    And I would be tall, good-looking, and wicked smaht.

    Yes! Precisely! Someone gets it.

    Or else we’d have better playwrights, at least.

  205. 205
    AxelFoley says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I understand both sides of the debate too.

    On the one hand, there are those who see the Confederate flag as a symbol of treason, treason in defense of slavery as outlined in the documents of secession from the Southern States, racial terrorism of the KKK as outlined by decades of oppression, legal and extra-legal including the routine murder of black men, and antithetical to the United States, union and unity, and racial healing.

    And on the other hand, you have racist assholes who like to wave it and scream “DON”T TREAD ON ME, BRO!” and worry about Those people voting and taking over the government and oppressing white people.

    I just don’t choose to pretend that both sides of the debate are morally, historically, and ethically equivalent.

    Thank you.

  206. 206
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    Yes! Precisely! Someone gets it.

    Or perhaps you misunderstood my comment.

  207. 207
    AxelFoley says:

    @seaboogie:

    This kid isn’t stupid. When he finally quits putting on the whole bravado front, he is going to break his own heart with the act that committed, and the lives that he ended.

    I highly doubt it. Bastards like him have no heart.

    I hope he gets what’s coming to him in prison.

  208. 208
    Chris says:

    @redshirt:

    Delightful homage to eighties space opera – I love the fact that Peter Quill, a kid from 1988, would have been exactly the right age to experience the Star Wars craze, before getting abducted into exactly that kind of universe.

  209. 209
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: Or perhaps you misunderstood mine?

  210. 210
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    Always possible, since it appeared to contradict itself.

  211. 211
    redshirt says:

    @Chris:

    Delightful homage to eighties space opera – I love the fact that Peter Quill, a kid from 1988, would have been exactly the right age to experience the Star Wars craze, before getting abducted into exactly that kind of universe.

    I really enjoyed the importance placed on the mixed tape – which was all 70’s music in a nice mashup of pop culture (as Quill is clearly an 80’s kid).

    And then the gift of the Awesome Mix, Vol. 2.

    So sweet.

  212. 212
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: There needs to be a sarcasm font.

    I was sincere in my point about books versus flags though.

  213. 213
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Were you also sincere in the books vs people thing?

  214. 214
    AxelFoley says:

    @rikyrah:

    @seaboogie:
    I honestly don’t give a shyt.
    Trying to understand why-folks kill me with that bullshyt about trying to find a REASON why an unrepentant racist killed 9 people whose only crime is THAT THEY WERE BORN BLACK.
    They had done nothing to him.
    Their EXISTENCE condemned them to death.
    Y’all make me sick always trying to find an explanation for a WHITE CRIMINAL.

    Thank you. So damn tired of white folks making excuses or trying to get in the minds of white thugs.

  215. 215
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes. A book is more important than a person. But like the platonic ideal of a book, mind you, not the paperback copy of Dean Koontz M is for Malice or some such.

  216. 216
    SFAW says:

    I’ was assuming you were sincere re: the Library burning being the greatest tragedy etc. etc. If that assumption is correct, then your “someone gets it” was either a misplaced approval (since my view of the burning’s impact is somewhat different from yours), or very-poorly-executed sarcasm. Since the (apparent) sarcasm of the “playwright” comment was not poorly-executed, I assumed the initial comment was not sarcastic, thus sincere, thus incongruous with the second. (Not because juxtaposed sincerity and sarcasm are incongruous – although they generally are – but because they would be making opposite/opposing points.)

  217. 217
    Chris says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    In addition to the racial symbol, I’ve always felt that the Confederate flag was the right wing rednecks’ and suburbanites’ version of the Che Guevara shirt for fashionably radical college students.

    It’s basically a big neon sign that says “Fuck the Man, maaann!” where the fact that it pisses people off is largely the point. Often flown by people who have only a hazy idea of what it represents, but that’s okay, the myth overtook the reality a long time ago. And questions about whether the people who find it offensive might have a pretty good reason for that are brushed aside, because freedom and Viva La Revoluccion.

  218. 218
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: The loss of the majority of ancient texts was a grievous loss, whether it happened in one fire or over the span of period of time.

    Massacres and genocides are numerous throughout history. There was only one copy, apparently, of the majority of works of Sophocles, for example.

  219. 219
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: We will have to agree to disagree then. I love books, the idea of them, the smell of the paper, everything about them, and I get that the library at Alexandria was an amazing repository of knowledge. But human lives matter.

  220. 220
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    A book is more important than a person.

    Hardly.

    It can be argued that suppressing thoughts/ideas (as symbolized by burning of books) is more important – or perhaps has greater impact – than suppressing a person. But destroying an inanimate piece of property generally falls somewhat lower on the give-a-shit-about scale than destroying a person.

  221. 221
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I love books, the idea of them, the smell of the paper, everything about them

    Sam? Sam Cogley? Is that you? Good job on that Kirk case.

  222. 222
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: Indeed, and I’m referring to the ideas/thoughts that books represent. Of course any single book is just a thing and relatively worthless and a person is far more important.

    Is there no such thing as nuance on the internet?

  223. 223
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Tommy: Funny. Got my oil changed this morning and on the next block was a dude in an econoline, hawking flags and boiled peanuts. He had no less than three variations, including one with Charlie Daniels on it.

    ‘It’s what we do, it’s who we are’… apparently

  224. 224
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Please remember the context of this hypothetical. Choosing one mass death over, say, the slaughter of Baghdad by the Mongols, for example, strikes me as relatively and culturally arbitrary. Do we weep for the street sweeper killed by a Mongol horseman back then? Not in the least, right?

  225. 225
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    And while losing Sophocles is too bad, that does not put it in the category of “greatest tragedy EVAH!”

    Now, if the only copies of the collected “works” of Dan Brown were destroyed, that would be a tragedy felt by hack writers everywhere, and for all time.

  226. 226
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: I think, collectively, the loss of that much ancient knowledge was a fairly substantial negative in the development of human society. Heck, “The Enlightenment” is essentially defined by the rediscovery of a fraction of that ancient knowledge, and that rediscovery led us directly to where we are right now as a global society, for good and bad.

  227. 227
    Chris says:

    @MBunge:

    The way I think about it is that TOS invented the basic “optimistic futuristic space opera” thing; TNG took it further and explored it pretty thoroughly; and DS9 explored its dark corners and gray areas to show the ways in which things hadn’t changed.

    Honestly, they could have stopped there. VOY added nothing to the universe.

    But ENT actually could have, if it had been done right – it could’ve been the “how do we evolve into the world of Star Trek?” Unfortunately, when the show opens up, you’ve already got a united Earth that’s “wiped out poverty, disease, war,” so pretty much all the interesting stuff is done before the show starts.

  228. 228
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:
    There’s plenty of nuance, but when you hang your hat on the Library’s physical burning, it’s not exactly a nuanced statement. Especially considering others talked about destruction of ideas.

    The point – abstruse thought it may have been – in my original comment was that the loss, although tragic, probably did not affect world events as greatly as you seem to think. Technology continued to advance, people continued to kill/conquer each other – as they had done before and during the existence of the Library, and so forth. And the loss of the only copies” (if true) of the various plays, poems, odes, rom-com lit, self-help books, and liberals-all-suck treatises might be unfortunate/tragic, but there’s probably not a whole lot of stuff that was in there that hasn’t been duplicated (more-or-less) by those who came after.

    So, in essence, it was a loss to some of the “arts,” and perhaps philosophy (or at least, philosophical treatises), but frankly, I’d rather ponder Rawls than Pliny.

  229. 229

    Confederate flag burnings have a use. It isn’t to anger and insult the other side. The racists are already angry to the point of mass murder. The point is that it organizes, unites, and dedicates the flag burners as a movement. It sends a message to blacks who feel powerless and whites who aren’t paying attention that this is a battle, and the victims are organizing to fight back. The sense of futility, that nothing will change and nobody cares and one person is helpless, is a real and powerful political effect. It has a great deal to do with Democratic GOTV issues.

    As for why flag burning should be considered morally bad, I don’t see the argument at all. Book burning is a small-scale attempt at censorship. Censorship is evil. Cross burnings are a threat. Putting people in fear is evil. Flag burning is just a declaration of anger against a system. That isn’t evil at all.

  230. 230
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: As I said, the Enlightenment is literally Europe rediscovering Aristotle. If a fraction of that ancient knowledge is sufficient to lead to a worldwide revolution in thought, I think having all that knowledge for thousands of years would have had a substantial influence on the development of global society.

  231. 231
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    It’s been 2000 years since the first burning, I think the effect on philosophical development is no longer a factor. Meaning: at this stage, it’s unlikely we would be in a quasi-Star-Trek-like utopia, had the Library not burned. And considering that the world of Star Trek came about because of near-calamity, not enlightenment, even less likely.

  232. 232
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: Who knows where we’d be if the Enlightenment started in 500 CE rather than 1500? I’d guess it would be a substantially different place.

  233. 233
    chopper says:

    So have we worked out yet what is the worst thing ever and the second worst thing ever?

  234. 234
    Chris says:

    @magurakurin:

    There will be a second one. They’ve scheduled it for 2017, I think.

    If the Big Bad of the cinematic universe is Thanos, then it makes sense that they’d want to continue with the team of heroes that’s out in the galaxy and not just staying on Earth.

    @redshirt:

    And the Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 is almost as much reason to look forward to it as the movie itself. I love that era’s pop music.

  235. 235
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    Aristotle’s effect on philosophical thought did not exactly start circa the Enlightenment, nor did it end when the Library burned, and it’s not clear that the “re-discovered” work would have provided new, earth-shattering ideas

  236. 236
    SFAW says:

    @chopper:

    Working on it, I’ll let you know.

  237. 237
    redshirt says:

    @Chris: Can’t wait for the sequel. I hope it focuses on Star Lord’s father, who I’m guessing is an Immortal.

    I’m still in a bit of shock how different the movie was. Like, the opening was a punch in the gut and though the rest of the movie is superficially light-hearted, the personal tragedy for Quill losing his mother/not taking her hand/then getting abducted by pirate aliens informs everything that he does in the film – revealing his roguish ways as cover for his loss.

  238. 238
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: Greeks worked out the theory of atoms in approximately 600 BCE, ideas we didn’t come across again until the 1800’s.

    The loss of knowledge is more a debilitating factor than you credit, I think.

  239. 239
    redshirt says:

    @chopper: If mass death is a requirement for “worst thing ever”, than the near extinction of the indigenous populations of North and South America outrank anything else in history. An entire world was destroyed.

  240. 240
    chopper says:

    @SFAW:

    cool. since it’s fathers day i got to sleep in until 7:00 which ranks as the ‘best thing ever’. I’m just waiting to hear about the worst.

  241. 241
    El Caganer says:

    Can we all finally agree, then, that the ultimate triumph of civilization is a dead planet with a giant database?

  242. 242
    Chris says:

    @El Caganer:

    Forbidden Planet?

  243. 243
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @redshirt: Haven’t read the whole thread yet, but lots of important libraries have been lost.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  244. 244
    redshirt says:

    @El Caganer: Does knowledge matter if there’s no one to utilize it?

  245. 245
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:
    Yes, and Aristotle worked out the theory of the five elements. So?

    ETA: And are you trying to say that their atomic “theory” was lost in Alexandria?

  246. 246
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: I guess knowledge means nothing then, and all that matters is the farmer who lived in Anatolia in 820 CE and died of dysentery. And all those like him. RIP.

  247. 247
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    Does knowledge matter if there’s no one to utilize it?

    Not if it falls in the middle of a forest, it doesn’t.

  248. 248
    Chris says:

    @redshirt:

    The comics are pretty good too, at least the ones I’ve read. I’d never heard of them until around the time the movie came out, at which point I started reading Bendis’ run of GOTG, which is good stuff. The filmmakers have said that their story with Starlord’s father will not be the same, though.

  249. 249
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    Kinda gone off the rails, haven’t you?

  250. 250
    SFAW says:

    @chopper:

    I’m just waiting to hear about the worst.

    Well, considering what your “best” was, I’m guessing the tie you’ll receive as a Father’s Day gift might qualify.

  251. 251
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: I think you’ve lost the track of the conversation. It’s a hypothetical “what’s the worst thing to happen in history” discussion and as such I proposed the loss of most of the ancient world’s texts – never to be replaced or known.

  252. 252
    redshirt says:

    @Chris: @Chris: I used to read comics back in the day but I never heard of GotG until the movie. Given the cost of comics these days I have no interest in reading the current stories.

    It was quite ingenious making a movie about them though, since it both ties into the larger MCU (via Thanos and the Infinity Stones) and yet can also completely stand alone.

  253. 253
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:
    Yes, and I disputed that contention, and now you’re all weepy about a farmer in Oshkosh. Along with the “point” about lost knowledge, but the quality and nature of the lost knowledge is the issue. And you seem to believe that philosophy and the Arts suffered such an irreparable loss that All of Humanity is now 400 or 500 (or whatever) years behind where we should be – vis-a-vis the moral and philosophical state of Mankind – because the Enlightenment occurred later or some such (although your time-stamping skillz seem to be a little off).

    Frankly, I think the birth of Jesus has/had a lot more to do with where we are than the loss of Alexandria. Speaking as an atheist, by the way.

  254. 254
    chopper says:

    @SFAW:

    actually it was a pretty nice tie.

  255. 255
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: As if the knowledge lost in Alexandria was merely philosophy and theater.

    Jesus or the rise of Christianity is certainly a big deal. An argument could also be made for Mohammed.

  256. 256
    SFAW says:

    @chopper:
    Good!

    Happy Father’s Day!

  257. 257
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    So burning Ann Coulter’s books is 1000x worse than burning the stars and bars?

    It sounds stupid, but yes, first it Coulter and then it’s someone who does have to say something serious. even a conservative. Flags are symbols but books are ideas.

  258. 258
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:

    As if the knowledge lost in Alexandria was merely philosophy and theater.

    Well, considering that it was more-or-less dedicated to the Muses, not sure how I came to think that.

    But outside of the atomic theory you mentioned – which you still haven’t said whether it was lost at Alexandria – I’m a-guessing that the advanced technical knowledge, which you’re attempting to allude to, has been smoothed out by time. (As in, curve smoothing.)

  259. 259
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Howard Beale IV: You don’t want a method that will cause a larger fire if you miss.

  260. 260
    Chris says:

    @redshirt:

    Oh, I don’t buy them. I read them at Barnes and Noble over coffee.

    My librarian friend blames me and this practice for the death of Borders.

  261. 261
    SFAW says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    it’s someone who does have to say something serious. even a conservative.

    Does not compute.

  262. 262
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chris: …and then the dudes who abduct him turn out to just be the outer-space equivalent of a meth-crazed outlaw biker gang. Bad luck, really.

  263. 263
    SFAW says:

    @Chris:

    My librarian friend blames me and this practice for the death of Borders.

    Bastard

  264. 264
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @redshirt:

    I really enjoyed the importance placed on the mixed tape – which was all 70’s music in a nice mashup of pop culture (as Quill is clearly an 80’s kid).

    ‘Cause it’s his mom’s favorite music, which was a nice character detail.

  265. 265
    SFAW says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Except I thought that they were doing that at his father’s behest. (At least in the movie.)

  266. 266
    redshirt says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    ‘Cause it’s his mom’s favorite music, which was a nice character detail.

    Indeed. That’s what gives the music and the character’s appreciation of that music so much more importance. Not only is it one of the few things he has left from Terra, but it’s also a direct statement from his Mother. And given how his last moment with his Mother went, you can understand why it means so much to him.

    And then, plot wise, given that music seems kind of foreign to the galaxy at large, that he can use this music to stall the villain with a Dance Off is simply amazing writing.

  267. 267
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: I could be wrong but I vaguely recall a reference to a book (now lost) that elaborated on the atomic theory of ancient Greeks and presaged our current understanding of physics.

    I think you’re awfully flip to dismiss so much unique information lost forever and the impact that information would have had if present.

  268. 268
    jonas says:

    @LauraPDX: Nice to hear. Penzey’s is a great outfit.

  269. 269
    henqiguai says:

    @Librarian (#89):

    For the hundredth time, the stars and bars and the Confederate battle flag are two different flags,

    Actually, it (the Confederate battle flag) was briefly the flag of the Confederacy. They went through a handful of ‘official’ flags in their brief existence.

  270. 270
    SFAW says:

    @redshirt:
    Not flip, I just don’t elevate to the same level that you do – not even close. And, sufficient time has passed that the theoretical positive or negative effects are probably asymptotic with respect to current knowledge in numerous areas.

    Were this 400 AD, I might have a different opinion. But, by the same token, were I six-foot-seven, 220 lb., with the right combination of fast- and slow-twitch muscles, and sufficient mental toughness, I’d be a four-time Gold medalist in the 1x.

  271. 271
    redshirt says:

    @SFAW: Cool. I’m glad we’ve had this difference of opinion as it’s been fun to argue in this, the fighting thread.

    I disagree with you, though. Having more advanced scientific knowledge in the year 600 could have advanced our world by hundreds of years. What if relativity is discovered in 1700? What if electricity is used in 1400? What if steam engines are used in 1200? These all represent major changes to human history, and they all could have come from knowledge in the Library of Alexandria.

  272. 272
    SFAW says:

    What if pigs had wings? What if the JaMarcus Russell were any good? What if Dick Cheney were not evil? (Well, OK, there’s no chance of that.)

    Look, it makes for great speculative fiction, but it’s not realistic to consider it as anything but.

  273. 273
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @SFAW: It seems very unlikely to me that there was anything, ever, at Alexandria in the realms of sience, mathematics or engineering that we haven’t rediscovered and moved far beyond by now.

    The Greeks didn’t really have an atomic theory. Some of them proposed as a thought experiment that there might be indivisible bits of matter, but they had no way to prove it or (as far as I know) any interest in proving it. Sitting around the symposium bullshitting over a cup of hemlock is not the scientific method.

    It is virtually certain that we lost irreplaceable works of literature at Alexandria, and enough raw data (tax rolls, census information, and so on) to lose forever the information historians need to build a proper understanding of the classical and pre-classical Mediterranean cultures. However, I don’t think there’s any reason to think it postponed the Renaissance by 1000 years or whatever.

    The Renaissance happened when Greek speaking scholars fled the fall of Constantinople with the Greek originals of Classical texts. Ok, that sounds moderately important.

    Except that means the Byzantines had those texts all along. If possession of an original Aristotle was what you needed for the Enlightenment, it should have happened in Byzantium in about 832AD.

  274. 274
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lurking Canadian: I’ll also just note that the Renaissance and the Enlightenment are two separate things.

  275. 275
    SFAW says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Thanks for the history lesson. One thing: it sounds like you’re equating the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It was my understanding that they were separated by a few hundred years. Of course, being a lowly engineer, not a(n) historian, I could be wrong.

    But, in general, I agree with your thoughts on this.

    ETA: And, of course, Omnes gets there faster.

  276. 276
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Not the same thing, but I think you need the first to get the second. I don’t see how else Aristotle (who was never actually lost in the West, cf Aquinas) has anything to do with the Enlightenment.

  277. 277
    chopper says:

    @redshirt:

    What if electricity is used in 1400? What if steam engines are used in 1200?

    we’d probably be in a 6+C hellscape right now assuming the same fossil fuel-heavy trajectory.

  278. 278
    SFAW says:

    @chopper:

    Killjoy. Way to harsh the Father’s Day mellow.

Comments are closed.